Sunday, October 9, 2011

What Are They Protesting About? Really?

I get it. Many in America are frustrated, angry, confused and just plain pissed-off. I understand that when this happens people want to lash-out at those perceived to be the haves because they perceive themselves as the have-nots; and hey, everyone wants a piece of the American pie, a share in the American dream.

What I don't get is why 'they' are marching and protesting on Wall Street, or what could eventually be Main Street. Is it because Wall Street is the symbol of a free capitalist society? Could it be that because they see those gigantic numbers roll by the digital ticker-tap on CNBC, Fox Business or Bloomberg they think this must be where all the fat cats keep their vast wealth and won't share with the 'little people'? I got news for most of you sleeping in tents on the streets, poised for days now in front of the Wall Street houses of glass (instead of out looking for gainful employment); most of the investors on Wall Street are the 'little people,' those hard working Americans who contribute a small percentage of their hard-earned income to a 401K retirement plan that is invested on Wall Street. Nearly 75% of all investments in the market are small working-class people buying a few dollars of stocks at a time from their paychecks in hopes of having something for retirement when that day for them arrives. Just thought I'd share that little eye-opener with the ignorant in the crowd of protesters.

When asked why they are protesting an assortment of answers have been given by those participating in the 'event,' however most can be summed up in the remark of one average fellow attending, "We're here because we want the big dudes to start paying." I'm not sure who these "big dudes" are that he is referring to, I doubt if he even knows, but that seems to be the general concensus. Someone a bit more educated might gives us a better insight into the why of these protests. Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (of course you knew they and other union leaders would get in on this media blitz) stated it this way to a CBS reporter, "They are basically sending us a message that says, 'Don't create a society where one percent basically has all the wealth." I find that interesting since it's about that same one percent that bears almost eighty-five percent of the burden of holding up America's welfare state in the guise of the myriad of taxes they already pay. Perhaps Mr. Weingarten and the "they" he refers to are not aware of that fact, or more likely, they just want more of other people's money distributed to those who would rather spend their days protesting the wrong group then going out there and either looking for a job or creating new jobs for a weak economy.

I am certainly not one of those one-percenters that has tons of money. Hell, I'm not even one of the fifty percent but I do have a brain and from time to time I use it. Eighty-Five percent of the budget of the United States goes to entitlement programs that they claim are near bankruptcy. One percent of the rich in this nation (of course that could depend on how you define rich) pay for nearly all that eighty-five percent government spending (evidently that doesn't include Warren Buffett - has the IRS contacted him yet?). Nearly fifty-percent of working individuals that are not rich (earning under $250,000/year) pay no taxes or a very limited amount (less than 5 percent). Then there is about forty-five percent who pay absolutely no taxes and live entirely off the government teat or by illegal means. Of that forty-five, it has been estimated that approximately twenty percent really do need the help because for various reason they cannot gain employment of any kind. That leaves about five percent of the so-called rich and truly wealthy picking up nearly all the tax tab, and these protesters want to squeeze that turnip even more.

If these folks in New York protesting Wall Street were truly serious about going after the right group then they would all hop on busses (at tax-payers expense of course) and get their free ticket to Washington DC, meet up in front of the White House and Capital Building and let their voices be heard there because it was those "dudes" that bailed out the investment banks and certain companies that trade on Wall Street (GM/Chrysler anybody). Yes, those companies took the money, got out of the jam they were in and the CBO claims that every cent the bankers took has been paid back with interest and GM is starting to recover but has yet to pay back the full amount. Now, aren't these protesters actually asking for the same deal the banks and auto dealers got? "Hey government, bail us out!" The only difference is the banks and auto dealers can pay back their debt to us taxpayers with interest but the likes of those now sleepbagging on Wall Street want a free handout. Wake up! There is no such thing as a freebie! What you take in money or security the government always asks for more of your liberty in return.

Which is more important to you? You have to decide that question for yourself. As for me and my house, we'll get a job doing something - even slinging burgers if necessary.

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